How about this for a roommate from spring training?
Bryson Stott, the Phillies’ first pick in the 2019 draft, will stay with Bryce Harper at Clearwater.
Filet mignon every night?
“No,” Stott said with a smile. “But he’s a great host.”
Stott and Harper hail from Las Vegas, and family connections run deep. Harper played a bit of travel with Stott’s older brother, Brennen. Harper, the top pick in the 2010 draft, was there to offer congratulations, support and advice when Bryson Stott was selected 14th overall by the Phillies in 2019.
Back in Las Vegas, Stott occasionally practices hitting with Harper and the two meet regularly at Harper’s house to watch Ohio State football games. Harper is a huge Buckeyes fan because his wife, Kayla, played soccer at school, and Stott adopted that team as his favorite when he was young.
Harper, 28, called Stott, 23, one of his close friends.
“He’s more than a teammate,” Stott said. “It’s amazing to see him go about his business and watch his children grow up.”
As Harper is entering his 10th season in the majors, Stott is a left-handed shortstop who is still starting out in his professional career. The UNLV product was about to embark on its first full professional season before the pandemic shut down minor league baseball in 2020.
Stott was one of the lucky ones. He managed to regain some development time when he was included in the group sent to the Phillies’ auxiliary field in July. He received two months of instruction and reps in games within the team.
“It was a huge growth experience, offensively and defensively,” said Stott, who is 6-2 and 205 pounds.
Stott’s bat has the potential to be a standout tool. In the auxiliary field, he worked on using his legs more and hitting the ball to all fields with authority.
“I learned that I’m big and strong enough not to depend on right field for extra-base hits,” he said.
Stott, who can also play second base, is currently at Phillies mini-camp in Clearwater, gearing up for the new season, and could catch a glimpse of a Grapefruit League game or two and plans to play. in the minors in 2021. The goal is a quick ascent to Philadelphia. The Phillies’ midfield situation could be established until 2022 with Didi Gregorius at shortstop and Jean Segura at second. That’s not an inordinate amount of time considering that Stott still needs development time and if he makes quick progress, well, there’s nothing wrong with putting a little heat on people.
Stott was asked what advice he received from Harper.
“Play hard, work hard, have fun and if you hit, there will be a place for you,” he said.
Harper offered an extensive scouting report on Stott.
“It’s a really good mix, I would say JJ Hardy and Brandon Crawford,” Harper said. “A guy who makes all the plays, not very flashy, but he has an arm like Crawford and he’s very good in the middle.
“I imagine he has a very similar swing – doubles to the left, home runs to the right – like Garret Anderson, if you could imagine. That’s pretty good praise because he was a really good hitter.
“He’s a very good player and he’s going to do whatever he can to get to the big leagues, whether he’s playing second or shortstop. The game isn’t too big for him. He’s very balanced with a blue collar mentality that would work in Philadelphia.
“If he pushes the limits, I think he’s a major league player, really. This is what he wants to do. I want him to be here. I think he’s going to be a great player, but he has to work to get there. Be here. Yes it’s not going to work, then it won’t be here. “
Harper isn’t just committed to meeting and helping the young players in his hometown. A year ago, he took Alec Bohm, a Nebraska, under his wing.
“That’s the only thing I’ve noticed about Bryce is that he has this big brother personality,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Bryce has been in the major leagues for a long time, but he’s not really that old. I think he enjoys that leadership role. I think he likes being a mentor. He knows what it’s like to have expectations of you, probably as many as anyone else. person when You know how difficult it is to get to this level and stay at this level and I think you have a lot of knowledge to offer these young children, and you are not that far from being that child.
“I love that I do. At some point these little kids will show up and you want them to feel comfortable when they walk into the clubhouse. Whether you’re a young player or a veteran player, you’re going to go through tough times and it really helps when you have someone. who to lean on when you’re a young player. “
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